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(en) US, Miami, FL - South Florida FTAA - Second Update: September 2003

From Nosotros Somos Mas <n20@hushmail.com>
Date Sat, 20 Sep 2003 16:39:27 +0200 (CEST)

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The following is the second of four South Florida Anti-Capitalist FTAA
mobilization updates. These updates will try to provide an on-the-ground
perspective into how all local efforts against the FTAA are progressing
and will also disseminate all confirmed information about security
preparations for the November ministerial meetings. Pre-requisite: a map
of downtown Miami (mapquest, yahoo, or assorted others will suffice).
With two months remaining before FTAA ministerial week, local
print media has been working overtime to insure that the only message
reaching the population about capitalist globalization&#146;s opponents is
one of invasion and unruliness on a grand scale. Thanks to city authorities
and the U.S. General Accounting Office, articles have recently begun
floating the 100,000 figure for demonstrators expected in Miami this
November (Miami Today, Broward Sun-Sentinel*). The basis for such
an estimate is a mystery. However, coupled with constant references to
the 1999 Seattle WTO ministerial and its side-show of "violence"
(defined by one helpful Miami police spokesperson as "breaking
storefront windows and vandalizing") the intent becomes very clear:
creating a situation where actual participation is certain to fall short,

while also making the case for excessive security expenditures and the
continual militarization of Miami's streets.

Taking their cue from city authorities and the elite, the South
Floridians for Fair Trade and Global Justice (SFFTGJ) have used their
scant media moments to obfuscate the true issues at hand even further
promising saintly peace (with an iron marshal fist for the disobedient)
when promoting their national group-sponsored mass march while failing
to emphasize why a presence in the streets is necessary in the first
(Miami Herald).

One footnote: The recent work of two local journalists bears
mentioning. In her recent coverage of Cancun and Miami, Miami Herald
business writer Jane Bussey manages to deal with trade policy issues
relevant to both ministerials in an objective and engaging manner.
Demonstrators and security are mentioned only briefly and in a reasonable
context. At the other end of the spectrum, however, is Miami New Times'
Tristram Korten. In addition to drubbing the POG, his latest column
references the 1980 McDuffie riots as an example of what Miami has to
look forward to in November. The McDuffie uprising was a bold,
vicious, and significant response to the acquittal of four white police
officers in the brutal murder of African-American resident Arthur
McDuffie. Over three days, it left 18 people dead, over one thousand
arrested, and a large part of northwest Miami burnt to the ground. Mr.
Korten&#146;s comparison is both an ignorant misrepresentation of the past
and reckless sensationalism in a climate already rife with bewildering
*sources cited follow update


At the time of this writing, very little new information was available
regarding the events taking place during the week of November 17-21.
An adequate breakdown of the week's events can be found here:
www.citizenstrade.org/miamicalendar.php. More information is

· The national group (AFL-CIO, Jobs with Justice, Citizens Trade
Campaign, Public Citizen, Friends of the Earth, American Friends
Service Committee, etc.) sponsored march planned for late afternoon
on Thursday, November 20th, has yet to file for a permit with
authorities. Nevertheless, preliminary discussions reveal a noon

at the Bayfront Park Amphitheater preceding the 2pm march along
still to be determined route that eventually concludes at the
amphitheater. The march will feature 500 orange-vested marshals.

· At the behest of city authorities, the Miami City Commission
recently approved an ordinance, tailored specifically for November,

that outlaws possession of a long list of items at demonstrations.
While it is expected that the local ACLU chapter will challenge
ordinance, the mass march organizers have indicated that they
intend on enforcing the items list at their event.

· Amnesty International has filed for a permit to rally at the Torch
Friendship (Biscayne Boulevard and NE 3rd St.) on Thursday,
November 20th.


Here is new information about security preparations:

· The perimeter fence to surround the ministerial meeting locale
said to be the latest in space-age security technology: unbreakable,

unscalable, impossible to lift and generally obtrusive. For more
information, see: ProActConcept barricades at

· The rotating protest pen method is being discussed as a possible
crowd control strategy. A large bike patrol contingent will also

· Biscayne Boulevard will be closed from the Miami River to NE 14th

· Use of the Brickell Bridge will be limited, with northbound traffic
from the Brickell area on US 1 rerouted west on SW 7th St. to
South Miami Avenue Bridge.

· Metro-rail service (Miami's elevated train) is expected to operate
normally. However, the Metro-mover (a smaller elevated train
downtown travel) schedule will be altered somewhat, as it
stops at the InterContinental&#146;s main entrance. More information



Anti-authoritarian Baby-sitters Club
Experienced & cooperative childcare effort; November 17th - 21st
Contact: yardwideyarns@hotmail; or 954.929.8013

Free Carnival Area of the Americas

Food not Bombs Alliance

Miami FTAA Ministerial Medical Logistics


The Beehive Collective
FTAA east coast tour begins in October.

Chicago Midwest Unrest FTAA Consulta
October 11th - 12th

Cincinnati Global Economics Conference
Tentatively scheduled for early October.

The March to Miami
>From Seattle to Miami over seven weeks this fall

The Padded Block
Miami, Florida; November 20th - 21st

The POG Pre-Miami Invitational
November 13 &#150; 18; Pittsburgh, PA
Contact: pog@mutualaid.org

Ruckus Society &#150; Global Justice Action Camp
October 10th &#150; 17th; Arcadia, Florida

Western North America FTAA Consulta
Denver, Colorado; October 10th
Contact: co_consulta@ziplip.com


The following concerns (lettered) were recently shared in discussions
regarding the Miami FTAA mobilization. Our responses follow (numbered):

(A) I think emphasizing affinity groups and individual group
strategies while also having a larger call to action for those people
to plug into the day of protests could work well.

(1) Currently, there are several actions to plug into: the padded block,

the Free Carnival Area of the Americas, and the FNB Alliance. The POG
can orient you about taking part in the padded block. The FNB Alliance&#146;s
feeding effort can use all the help it can get, as the Miami FNB chapter
is a small and inexperienced lot. The FCAA is opening a warehouse for
street theater, puppet making, bicycle building and local community
collaboration for six weeks prior to their Palm Beach to Miami parade.
For those of us planning on arriving early, this South Florida fount
creative resistance with tri-county community-building and outreach
potential is highly recommended.

(B) Don't hang around the convergence space, if there is one&#133;

(2) Preliminary discussions have begun about providing a Welcome
Center/Convergence Space. It is a very real possibility and more
information is forthcoming. In the meantime, however, other existing
efforts and options are certain to compensate for and contribute to
convergence space-related services: the FL Fair Trade Coalition is
planning on opening a Media Center in downtown Miami or thereabouts;
vacant lots abound in the downtown area should any cavalier affinity
group wish to convene a spokescouncil/pre-action meeting before or
during the week of action; city and action logistics/orientation are
addressed through these updates and the thoroughly informed Miami
FTAA Ministerial Medical Logistics website (see above).

(C) a more promising idea, i think, would be to mobilize alongside
the unions and permitted marches, and then announce a break-away
(or some other more confrontational assembly). by doing this, we
could potentially pick up numbers which were not initially in our
ranks&#133;this is a very important objective of these protests -
radicalizing more moderate branches of the movement.

(3) The union-sponsored, permitted march is being publicized as the
most broadly supported and innocuous event taking place during the
week of action. Seniors from around Florida will be mobilized to
participate, and the AFL-CIO is providing 500 members to "line the route
[and] direct people to make sure it's an orderly event." A breakaway
a certainly one way to get folks moving once we are together. However,

between the marshals and the inevitable police escort, be careful to
consider your safety as well as that of others.


Two months remain before the week of action. If we failed to include
information that should be public knowledge at this point, please let

*800million vs. 34 Coalition

Bussey, Jane. 2003. Miami waits in the shadows of WTO summit.
Miami Herald. 07 September.

Hemlock, Doreen. 2003. Joint effort under way to guard FTAA session
in Miami. Sun-Sentinel. 06 September.

Hemlock, Doreen. 2003. Trade summit ready for onslaught. Sun-Sentinel.
25 August.

Hoag, Christina. 2003. Commerce chiefs to face calm activism. Miami
Herald. 29 August.

Korten, Tristram. 2003. Meet Us in Miami. Miami New Times.
11 September.

Stabley, Susan. 2003. Miami police keeping plans for FTAA under
wraps. Miami Today. 21 August.

Stabley, Susan. 2003. Miami police outline plans for November trade
meetings. Miami Today. 11 September.

For an extensive list of back articles, see:
For the August update, see:

*800million vs. 34 Coalition abides by the PGA Hallmarks. That is to
say, anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist, and for direct action.

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